New Pillow

In the last days, before I was convinced to finally part with her,

I would crawl under the covers and lay my head upon her,
knowing that her days were not unnumbered,
The single constant that had accompanied me since childhood-
thirty years, at least, my quiet sleeping companion.

She gave of her mete to my wandering fingers, searching ever
In those moments when I needed–sought–them
For the wholesome prick of a feather’s quill,
Poking through the fabric meant to contain them as fill,
to be drawn out as an instant treasure, a trophy.

She too, had once been young and fresh and sturdy: unblemished.
The perfect accompaniment for the change to manhood,
Soft and forgiving of my imperfections, midnight-flipped,
Cradling my head in slumber, folded and lumbar-supporting
As I read or watched TV, or in other recumbent endeavors.

As I’d pull one feather out, others queued up for extraction,
Until together, in an OCD-eternity before slumber,
Piles of feathers were transferred to the floor, bits of her
To be gathered up in the morning or pushed underneath the bed
With dust bunnies, crunchy towels and National Geographics.

And after decades of such extractions, the once plump and sturdy,
Unswerving, undemanding, post-indulgent head lounge,
Now sweat, tear, and love-stained, sleep-strained,
Replaced with a cuddling constant that gives without deteriorating:
Slumber, unencumbered and contented and ever strong:

Transacted: Picked.

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